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Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever



Additional
Labrador Retriever
Pictures
Breed Organization
The Labrador Retriever Club
Website: http://www.thelabradorclub.com
Native Country
Great Britain
Other Names
Black Labrador Retriever, Silver Labrador Retriever, Saint Jones Dog, Yellow Labrador Retriever, Chocolate Labrador Retriever
Life Expectancy
Approximately 10-12 Years
Litter Size
Average 7-8 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Sporting

Breed Appearance
Labradors are relatively large with males typically weighing 30 to 36 kg (65 to 80 lb) and females 25 to 32 kg (55 to 70 lb) under AKC standards, but some labs do become overweight and may weigh significantly more. Their coats are short and smooth, and they possess a straight, powerful tail often likened to that of an otter. The majority of the characteristics of this breed, with the exception of color, are the result of breeding to produce a working retriever.

As with some other breeds, the English (typically "show") and the American (typically "working" or "field") lines differ. Labs are bred in England as a medium-sized dog, shorter and stockier with fuller faces and a slightly calmer nature than their American counterparts which are bred as a larger lighter-built dog. No distinction is made by the AKC, but the two classifications come from different breeding. Australian stock also exists; though not seen in the west, they are common in Asia.

The breed tends to shed hair twice annually, or regularly throughout the year in temperate climates. Some labs shed a lot, although individuals vary. Lab hair is usually fairly short and straight, and the tail quite broad and strong. The otter-like tail and webbed toes of the Labrador Retriever make them excellent swimmers. Their interwoven coat is also relatively waterproof, providing more assistance for swimming. The tail acts as a rudder for changing direction.


Breed Description
Head:The Labrador has a broad head, thick nose, scissors bite and a pronounced stop. Its muzzle is fairly wide and its neck is powerful.
Ears: Set fairly far back, neither large nor heavy, falling against the head.
Eyes: Medium-sized, brown or hazel.
Body: Powerful, rounded build. Powerful, cleanly cut neck. Chest broad, well let-down with well-sprung ribs. Short, broad, powerful loin.
Tail: Very thick at the base, tapering toward the tip. Medium in length with no feathering but completely covered with short, thick, dense hair, giving it a rounded, "otter tail" appearance. May be carried gaily but must not curve over the back.
Hair: Short and dense, without waves or feathering. Weather-resistant undercoat.
Coat: Solid black, yellow, or brown (liver-chocolate). Yellow ranging from pale cream to reddish-brown (fox red). A small white spot on the chest is allowed.
Size: Dog: 56 to 57 cm. (22-22.5 in).Bitch: 54 to 56 cm. (21-22 in).
Weight: 25 to 30 kg (55-66 lb).


History
A native of Canada, the Labrador Retriever is thought to be descended from the Saint Jones Dog that inhabited the island of Newfoundland in the eighteenth century. The breed was definitively set in the early twentieth century in England, where it was imported after being crossed with the English Pointer, in particular. By 1896, the Labrador was introduced to France, where the Retriever Club of France was founded in 1911. The most popular retriever owes his success to his exceptionally even-tempered personality, which explains why he is first and foremost a companion animal.

Behavior
This king of retrievers is highly active, agile, confident, and tenacious. Sometimes called the "pointer of retrievers", he has a remarkably keen nose and is an excellent swimmer. He can retrieve all sorts of game on land and in the water. With his vast visual memory, he can recall the locations of several fallen birds. A tenacious tracker, he is a good bloodhound on the trail of wounded large game. Very even-tempered and never aggressive, he has a delightful personality that makes him a wonderful pet. He needs firm and gentle training.

Health
Labradors are somewhat prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, especially the larger dogs, though not as much as some other breeds. Hip scores are recommended before breeding and often joint supplements are recommended. They also suffer from the risk of knee problems. A luxating patella is a common occurrence in the knee where the knee dislocates and goes back into place. Eye problems are also possible in some Labradors, particularly progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, corneal dystrophy and retinal dysplasia. Dogs which are intended to be bred should be examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist for an eye score. Hereditary myopathy, a rare inherited disorder that causes a deficiency in type II muscle fibre. Symptoms include a short stilted gait or "bunny hopping," and in rare cases ventroflexion of the neck accompanied by a kyphotic posture. There is a small incidence of other conditions, such as autoimmune diseases and deafness in Labradors, either congenitally or later in life. Labradors often suffer from exercise induced collapse, a syndrome that causes hyperthermia, weakness, collapse, and disorientation after short bouts of exercise. Labradors like to eat, and without proper exercise can become obese. Laziness also contributes to this. Obesity is a serious condition and can be considered the number one nutritional problem with dogs. Therefore Labradors must be properly exercised and stimulated. A healthy Labrador can do swimming wind sprints for two hours, and should keep a very slight hourglass waist and be fit and light, rather than fat or heavy-set. Obesity can exacerbate conditions such as hip dysplasia and joint problems, and can lead to secondary diseases, including diabetes. Osteoarthritis is common in older, especially overweight, Labradors. Labradors should be walked twice a day for at least half an hour.

Advice
He does not like being left alone. He needs lots of exercise to curb his restlessness. He must be brushed two to three times per week and combed during shedding season.

Function
Hunting Dog, Utility Dog: Canine Assistant (guide dog), Drug Detection Dog, Companion Dog.